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Apr 07 2009

Building cables is fun!

For work, I’m going to be using this schematic to build two VGA-to-RGB-component cables using CAT5 cabling. The goal is to connect two large component-capable TVs to a Windows computer with a dual-head VGA card, to display propaganda corporate information. I’m actually pretty excited about this, as simple a schematic as it is, because it’ll be my first real dabbling with custom wire-building since I built my parallel-port SNES controller adapter back in university. Ah, I remember playing Firepro Wrestling X on my SNES emulator, two players, for the first time, and loving every moment of it.

The drawbacks as I see them are that, as I don’t have any shielded CAT5e at my disposal, I’ll be limited in how I can transport the cord from point A to point B — it will need to avoid the fluorescent lighting as much as possible, lest it picks up ghosting and ruins the image; and one of the two TVs is probably about 70 feet away once you account for all the light-avoidance I’ll have to do to get it there.

Additionally, I’m reformatting another Vista laptop for a friend’s girlfriend, who has pretty good reason to believe her ex-boyfriend left behind a little piece of himself on her computer with which to spy on her. Well, if that’s the case, and something IS being used to keystroke-log or password-hack her computer, even if it was a rootkit, it’ll be gone by the time I’m done zeroing the drive, reinstalling, and putting password locks on the BIOS and encrypting the hard drive. Curious thing about this case is the fact that the processor is a 64 bit one, yet the OS that shipped with it is Vista Home Premium 32-bit. I’d give it an upgrade, but the license on the sticker wouldn’t work with the 64 bit media (why, Microsoft? WHY?), and anyway, I don’t have the appropriate media to begin with.

So what geeky projects do you folks have on the go? I need inspiration for something geeky for home.

Update:
Well fuck. Doesn’t work. Apparently the video card has to be capable of outputting in composite video mode, which apparently some NVidia cards can do with a special dongle that I can’t find anywhere, and some ATI cards can do by default, but I can’t find any of those cards either. There goes a half day of work.

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